Spectacular solar eruption captured by scientists (VIDEO)

The sun has erupted in a spectacular flare, sending an outburst of heated plasma far into space. The eruption occurred along the sun's eastern limb and was not aimed towards Earth, scientists say.

­The flare was captured by NASA specialists and categorized as a class M flare, which is right in the middle on the scale of sun storms.

Although the eruption looked tremendous it was not the strongest solar activity of the year. Earlier this year the Earth was battered by two massive solar storms that sent streams of charged particles towards the planet.

Scientists say the sun is currently in an active phase of its 11-year solar cycle and is expected to reach peak activity in 2013.